by Joe Fortenbaugh
March 11, 02013
You didn’t think Pete Carroll was going to stand idly by while archrival San Francisco reaped all the praise from the Alex Smith trade, did you?
In an effort to keep pace with their enemies to the south, the Seattle Seahawks got the free agency party started early on Monday by sending three draft picks—including the team’s 2013 first-round selection at No. 25—to the Minnesota Vikings in exchange for Pro Bowl wide receiver Percy Harvin. The Vikings will also receive a seventh round selection in 2013 and a mid-round pick in 2014, per Jay Glazer of Fox Sports.
Pending a physical, the deal can be finalized when the new league year begins at 4:00pm ET on Tuesday.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reports that the agreement won’t happen absent a new contract for Harvin, who is currently scheduled to enter the final season of a five-year rookie deal that carries a cap number of $4.028 million and a base salary of $2.9 million.
The move reunites Harvin with Seahawks offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell, who held the same position in Minnesota in 2009 and 2010.
And just like that, the budding rivalry between the Seahawks and 49ers gets even more compelling.
ICONHarvin brings a new level of explosiveness to an offense that already features Russell Wilson and Marshawn Lynch.
The addition of a dynamic playmaker like the 24-year-old Harvin should provide a noticeable escalation in production for an offense that ranked ninth in the NFL in both yards per play (5.76) and points per game (25.8), in addition to ranking 17th in total offense (350.6 yards/game) during the 2012 season under rookie quarterback Russell Wilson.
In 54 career games, Harvin is averaging 5.18 receptions and 61.14 receiving yards per contest. Sidney Rice, Seattle’s top receiver during the 2012 campaign, averaged just 3.12 receptions and 46.75 receiving yards per game last season.
In addition to raising Super Bowl hope in the Pacific Northwest, the Harvin trade is sure to raise some interesting questions in the near future. Can the former Florida Gator stay healthy for an entire 16-game season, something he’s done just once during his four-year career? Will the 49ers counter the move by trying to swing a deal for current Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis? Can Harvin successfully transition from the fast track of an indoor stadium to the outdoor conditions at CenturyLink Field?
As to Harvin’s health, only time will tell. Regarding the possibility of the 49ers trading for Revis, we’d be willing to bet that San Francisco will bring in another cornerback via free agency if talks don’t resume with the Jets. And in regards to the wide receiver’s switch from a dome to an outdoor venue, take a look at Harvin’s career numbers when playing indoors vs. outdoors.
Harvin’s numbers suggest that moving to an outdoor venue for eight home games per season won’t have much, if any, of an effect on his overall production. If anything, playing with a mobile quarterback like Russell Wilson—who excels at extending plays with his legs—should lead to an increase in each of the major statistical categories for the 2009 All-Pro.
Listed at 8/1 to win the 2014 Super Bowl at the LVH sports book in Las Vegas prior to the trade, LVH Director of Race & Sports Jay Kornegay told the National Football Post on Monday that they would not be adjusting Seattle’s odds in light of the transaction.
“No, they are low enough,” said Kornegay.
At the current moment, only New England (5/1), San Francisco (7/1) and Denver (7/1) are posted with lower odds to hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy.
But all of that could change come Tuesday afternoon, when the new league year begins and the free agent market opens up for all 32 teams.
For now, you’ve got to give credit to an 11-5 Seahawks team that capitalized on a big opportunity to upgrade their roster.
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